If Phil Jackson was never fired: 2018-19 NBA Season
Continuing our alternate world with Phil Jackson still in charge of the Knicks, the 2018-19 NBA season is exciting, yet forgettable at the same time. The team has a very young roster led by three young players: Luka Doncic, Jaylen Brown, and Josh Jackson. The Knicks finished the season 28-54, but the franchise’s outlook looks extremely promising if they address the frontcourt.
Luka Doncic is now the NBA’s golden boy, playing in the world’s largest market at a very high level. The pressure of New York does not faze him, and he is proving that he is the future of the NBA, stacking up triple-doubles, saucing defenders, and shooting the lights out. He is a perfect fit in Ettore Messina’s slow-tempo offense and is undoubtedly the rookie of the year, averaging 21.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, and six assists per game.
Jaylen Brown took a step towards stardom and greatly benefited from playing next to Luka Doncic in the backcourt. His points per game increased slightly to 19.1 points per night, but his efficiency skyrocketed to 47%. Josh Jackson’s points dropped to 14.6 per night, but his efficiency improved, and he turned into a much better defender. Frank Ntilikina came off the bench and averaged 7.3 points and 4.4 assists, growing minimally but playing a vital role on the team’s second unit. Jarred Vanderbilt struggled to get a groove and battled injuries but looked promising in the minutes he played, averaging 5.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 16 minutes.
Luka Doncic single-handedly saved Phil Jackson’s reputation in New York, and the outlook for the team is finally positive after five grim years. The media rejoices with boy sensation, Luka Doncic, and Knicks fans are ecstatic about their young core.
Knicks extend Phil Jackson
Phil Jackson was set to retire after the season as he entered the final year of his five year, $60 million deal. Jackson believed his legacy in New York was saved by selecting Luka Doncic in the draft and giving New York a legit franchise superstar to build around for the next few years. However, James Dolan was so thrilled with Phil’s selection of Doncic that he convinced him to stay another year and build a playoff team around the European star before he retires from the Knicks.
Luka Doncic wins ROY
To no one’s surprise, Luka Doncic wins Rookie of the Year. He had the best rookie season from an NBA player in recent years, and with Doncic lighting it up in New York City, he is undoubtedly the NBA’s rookie of the year.